This project is a world-first that has won awards for innovation and excellence – it is ideal for people who are passionate about the environment. Volunteers contribute to the environmental conservation movement through sustainable building using EcoBricks, upcycling initiatives, direct clean-up action, and awareness workshops in Livingstone, a small town in Zambia. You will work closely with the local community to find sustainable and practical solutions for plastic waste.
Livingstone is a beautiful, rural town in southern Zambia just a stone’s throw away from the mighty Zambezi river and the border of Zimbabwe. It is a hub for visitors looking to experience one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – Victoria Falls, locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. Livingstone is the ultimate playground for adventure-seekers, wildlife enthusiasts, and lovers of the great outdoors. Whether you’d like to bungee jump, swim in the ‘Devil’s Pool’, white water raft down the Zambezi, join a river safari or enjoy an African sunset, every experience in Livingstone is unique. The town itself is relaxed and friendly with an intriguing culture and history. Here, you’ll find arts and craft producers, museums, colonial architecture, traditional village life, as well as delicious local food and laidback African lifestyle.
A large part of this environmental conservation project will be using what you have collected on mass clean-ups to build things with EcoBricks. It is a relatively new concept of turning plastic pollution into something useful that can be used to build something and ultimately improve communities. Like walls and buildings.
An EcoBrick is a plastic bottle that is stuffed with plastic pollution and turned into a solid ‘brick’. Volunteers have used EcoBricks to build a compost bin, chicken coop and piggery, an ablution block, and benches for schools. We also run a swap shop with school students to encourage them to get involved. The students can swap EcoBricks they have made for stationary, toys, and football jerseys.
Using our environmental education curriculum, volunteers deliver workshops to schools, community groups, women’s groups, and local businesses on the importance of waste management and why environmental conservation is important.
Building awareness is critical for starting the journey of minimizing waste and can kick-start innovative and practical ideas from local community members that can help get rid of plastic in a constructive and sustainable way. Your workshops will introduce the issues and possible solutions to land waste, water waste, and how waste is affecting people’s health.
Creating practical ways for waste to be reused and recycled is a sustainable way to help locals make an income while also cleaning up the community. You will meet some of the people who are turning waste into products they are successfully selling.
But as an environmental conservation volunteer, you will also get involved with thinking up innovative ways to turn plastic pollution into product. This will include working with our community groups to trial new start-up initiatives that will help reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Litter clean-ups are a fun, quick way to make an immediate impact, and are a great excuse to get outside. The local community of Livingstone is always keen to get involved in these, so you will join large groups who meet up to clean villages and areas of natural beauty, including the banks of the Zambezi and Muramba rivers.
The Zambezi and surrounding national parks are home to some of Africa’s most iconic animal species who are threatened by plastic that flows from the nearby towns and villages. When possible, we also invite our students, women’s groups, and community leaders to join us on these!
“Had a fantastic time on the ecobricking project in Zambia. Was really impressed by African Impact and their work in Livingstone. Loved how there was such an emphasis on community involvement and sustainability. Great diversity in day to day work and a fantastic place to volunteer in. Would absolutely recommend the organisation and the location.”
“This was one of the best things I have done in my life to date. Whilst I was out in Livingstone I really felt like I was in fact making a difference and that my money was going towards many different projects. The African Impact team were amazing and really care about what they were doing which was infectious to all volunteers. This experience opened my eyes to many different issues which I did not even realise existed.”
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.
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